Our blog posts are designed to keep our audience up-to-date on the latest information on the happenings at Mount Vernon and the printing industry overall. Check back often for updates and browse the different categories for new information.
Millennials. You know a few of them I’m sure. Maybe you are a millennial. Millennials grew up in an electronics-filled and increasingly online and socially-networked world. They are the generation that has received the most marketing attention. And so that being said, you’d assume that they want to be marketed to digitally. Not necessarily.
Millennials are savvy young shoppers using a variety of channels to find the best bang for their buck. Not surprising, they lead the way in using paperless discounts more than any other generation. But what every marketer should consider is that a third of millennial coupon users reported increasing their paper coupon usage this year over the prior one. Yes, they still like paper!
There is proof that millennials do actually like mailed coupons and direct mail with a strong call to action. They pay attention to the direct mail envelopes and postcards that have special offers for businesses that have localized search online and who offer codes for online discounts.
There is a good reason why paper couponing has staying power. Forrester Consulting research concludes that “even in today’s digital world, consumers still use paper coupons at a surprisingly high rate, likely because most digital options do not provide a seamless customer experience.” Coupons, i.e. paper, are tactile and easy to use. In this upside-down world of couponing, digital is actually more difficult than paper. If you send them direct mail, the chances of a millennial responding are higher than if you simply send something digital.
Of course coupons and direct mail help drive sales, but if you want to create brand loyalty, delivering a frictionless money-saving experience will ultimately create long-term customer loyalty. Who doesn’t want loyalty?
Photo courtesy of premieruplink.com
As with pop culture (like I wrote about in my last blog), relevancy is the key. That’s also the case for success with your print marketing tactics. When done right, traditional methods of outreach can be just as effective at reaching your target customer.
It may seem old school, but print such as catalogs and direct mail can help overcome any digital overload consumers face today. A big part of being relevant is using personalization in your approach. This will strike the right chord when communicating with your customers. And, when you pair that with other outreach channels, you are guaranteed even higher response rates.
Relevancy isn’t just about including the recipient’s name; it also means tailoring images, the messaging, and the information so it speaks specifically to that customer, or potential customer. A Xerox and InfoTrends study reported that 44 percent of direct mail is quickly discarded if it’s not relevant, whereas 80 percent of consumers tend to open a personalized direct mail piece. At the end of the day that is very significant.
Catalogs are also making quite a comeback. It’s not hard to find retailers who drive sales to both digital channels and brick-and-mortar stores with their printed catalogs. This is even more effective when the printed piece is attractively designed and — yes, I’m sounding repetitive — personalized to each recipient. You’re seeing a pattern here, aren’t you?
The advances of inkjet technology are truly transforming catalogs into cost-effective personalized vehicles. High-quality color options and rich substrates with quick turn times can be expected when using the inkjet printers of today.
With Mount Vernon Printing’s deep resources that feature the latest technologies, we’re set up to help you stay relevant. Let us help you brainstorm the most effective ways to meet your printing goals.
Photo courtesy of Xerox.com
There are plenty of events happening in the world as we move through our daily lives. How are you leveraging these positive events to reach your customers? Consider being creative with current events to keep your company, or brand top of mind. What cues can you take from these to create products, or campaigns that that will resonate with your audience?
As the sales funnel is redefined, it’s important to make sure your marketing is evolving as well. For instance, it was just announced that Pantone is naming a color after the singer-songwriter Prince in honor of his “Purple Rain” hue. The new name will be dubbed the “Love Symbol #2.” This is a great example of how Pantone Color Institute is using pop culture to generate new interest in something that has been around for quite some time.
How about that awesome solar eclipse where so many people took time out of their day to see it first hand? Lots of companies jumped on the eclipse band wagon. Dunkin Donuts created a one-minute video AND provided instructions on how to make an easy DIY pinhole projector using their Munchkins Treat Box to help keep your munchkin’s eyes safe. Smart, right?
Do pancakes look like the moon? Well, to Denny’s they sure did, so the well-known breakfast chain offered customers a $4 all you can eat pancake special on that special day.
You just never know where your next creative product or idea will be coming from when you draw upon the world around you! Need some ideas? We can help you create a creative campaign that will resonate with your customers. Reach out to me.
As I’m sure you know, offset and digital are both really popular printing methods. They both have their own benefits depending on your goals and how you would like to communicate to your customers.
Entering the market about 10 years ago, digital printing has really taken off, and it’s expected to grow 17% compounded annually until 2020 according to Printing Impressions. That is precisely why Mount Vernon Printing invested in this technology at the onset.
Our customers sometimes ask me what the difference is between the two popular print methods, so I wanted to put together my short list of pros for each that you should consider when starting a project.
Digital (or Inkjet) Printing Pros: There are no printing plates or films eliminating the mechanical steps that are required for offset printing.
- Short turn-around time
- Capability to print with a coating / varnish
- Less expensive for low volume runs without sacrificing quality
- Ability to personalize your project with variable data
Good fit for: Personalized direct mail, projects that require a high number of print versions and POD (print on demand) projects that eliminate inventory and waste. The flexibility and rapid turn times really makes this method attractive to many of our customers.
Offset Printing Pros: Offset printing uses the Pantone Matching System for the highest color matching and finer details.
- Cost effective for high volume jobs due to lower unit cost (digital still can’t compete with the volume capabilities of an offset press)
- Larger variety of paper types with custom finishes
- Other print surfaces and special custom inks are available
Good fit for: High-end projects where color quality needs to be perfect.
Digital printing offers the most affordable way to customize marketing materials, and with the ROI attached to personalized marketing, it’s only going to get more popular with every passing year.
Both offset and digital print can co-exist in a way that lets you communicate to your customers at the right price. Reach out to me and I’ll help you create a plan that minimizes cost and maximizes the return on your next project.
Photo courtesy of: Arkansasgraphics.com
Print larger quantities faster and for less money
Most people are familiar with the term offset web printing. Web offset printing is generally used for larger print runs, and when utilized properly can be very economical, with the most typical applications being publications, catalogs, and books.
What you might not know is that web presses are divided into two classes. Understanding the benefits can help you communicate faster to your audience at a lower cost.
The two classes are:
- Cold (or non-heat-set) offset web press
- Heat-set offset web press
The main differences are really how the inks are dried. With cold web offset printing, ink dries while being absorbed into the paper. Heat set, on the other hand, dries with heaters or drying lamps before the ink is considered cured.
Cold-set presses work mostly with offset or uncoated paper stock (and yes the technology is a bit older). Perfect usage for a cold press are PMS/spot colors and black and white print work, maybe investment prospectuses, inserts, self-mailers, letters and pharmaceutical product information sheets (PIs).
Heat-set presses give you a bit more versatility with the kinds of paper, but they aren’t always as cost effective.
The cold-set press is a favorite option for our customers because of the larger quantities that can be produced with a short amount of lead time. Of course, the cost effectiveness is a big draw as well. Just because the technology is older doesn’t mean it should be retired, right?
Contact us to find out how you can take advantage of our cold-set press.
Photo courtesy of picantecreative.com
There are many advantages to having one partner – or as we call it, one “consultant” – to manage your direct marketing projects. Every project is unique, with its own requirements.
Did you know? We have an onsite-mailing department! We offer an all-in-one solution, from consulting to print to mailing to help you maximize your marketing outreach.
Since everyone likes listicles, here we go. Here are the top five reasons why your project will run smoothly, and receive a better return on your investment if you take advantage of the onsite services we offer:
1) Better Control:
We can keep an eye on your project from start to finish and see it through every stage until it mails to your target audience. We’ll reach out to you sooner rather than later if we see an issue, meaning you can correct an issue midstream versus after the fact.
Deadlines are always tight and it's much easier for us to make sure your project mails on time when we control the entire mailing process and schedule.
Our quality control processes assure that we know how your communication looks when it’s headed to your target audience, ensuring the integrity of our work and your brand communications.
4) Speed to Market:
Your Mount Vernon consultant is there every step of the way, overseeing your project and making sure your mail date is met, no matter how tight. We can turn a project around very quickly with our onsite mailing services.
5) Cost Control:
Last, but not least, we are able to keep the cost down. You will never pay for more postage than you need. If your project calls for special packaging, we are the experts in providing the best, most cost-effective solution to keep postage costs to a minimum.
So don’t be shy, reach out to us and learn how we can help you reduce postage costs AND increase the effectiveness of your mailing. It’s a win-win!
Photo courtesy of www.printandlabel.com
The scales have tipped over the last decade from print to digital. Digital marketing is definitely a huge priority for most marketers these days. That being said, we know there is still a place in your marketing strategy for direct mail. In fact, data shows that the scales are starting to tip back because companies understand the importance of a multi-channel approach that includes direct mail, or some form of tactile touch.
We have plenty of proof at Mount Vernon as you look around and see the kind of jobs flying off of our presses. But don’t just take our word for it. The Direct Marketing Association reported that direct mail brings in a 3.6% higher response rate, compared to social media and email combined. That’s not all.
A Canadian neuroscience firm did some research in which eye tracking technology and EEG brain wave measurements were used while participants looked at different forms of marketing content. The study written by Forbes reported that paper-based marketing (i.e. direct mail) has advantages when connecting with our brains. Not only did direct mail test better for brand recall, but it required 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media.
Of course we are not suggesting that anyone stay away from digital marketing. We know you can be more effective overall by combining online and offline marketing strategies. There are huge benefits to using both and incorporating print to reinforce your digital strategy.
With our deep resources that feature the latest technologies, we’re here to help. Let us help you brainstorm the most effective ways to meet your goals utilizing print as a channel.
One of the advantages of being part of the RR Donnelley family is having access to really cool integrated marketing solutions … like the patented Flex Mailer. Flex Mailer is an effective packaging solution designed specifically to reduce postage costs and increase revenue opportunities for mailing programs. Its flexibility and unique inner tray design allows for a large variety of items to be mailed as an “automated flat” with substantial postage savings.
The Flex Mailer is available in six sizes with the ability to accommodate items as small as a USB drive, or as big as a t-shirt in a USPS approved automatable package. Bar codes can also be printed on them for package tracking if that is important to your marketing efforts.
A little while ago, the Quaker Oats Food Company came to Mount Vernon Printing looking for ideas on how to spread the word about their new line, called Soft Baked Oatmeal Cookies. Using the power of social media, Quaker executed a campaign where their Facebook fans could request a free cookie sample to be mailed directly to them. How fun is it to get a cookie in the mail?
As soon as the campaign appeared on Quaker’s Facebook page, fans rushed to get samples and actually crashed their page. Fixing it as quickly as possible to satisfy potential cookie customers was paramount. In the end, it worked well, with 20,000 samples being requested in just one day!
Now that’s getting the word out, and an inexpensive way at that, if you compare it to advertising (not to mention the customer data it produced was priceless). At the time, Quaker had over 800,000 fans on Facebook, and they were able to reach out to them basically for “free.” Add that to the cost of the cookies, production of the creative Flex Mailer, and the low postage, this was a huge success story for both Quaker and Mount Vernon Printing. We love being able to satisfy our customers’ needs and saving them money. Let us help you communicate your brand in a creative, attention-grabbing, cost-effective way…. cookies or not.
At Mount Vernon Printing, we take great pride in belonging to the Allied Printing Trades Council. This ensures the highest quality and craftsmanship in everything we print.
You may see a union-printing label on some of the materials we print. It’s called a union “bug” because of its small appearance. The bug is basically the equivalent of on artist’s signature on their masterpiece. When you spot this bug, you can be assured that the men and women who produced your product stand behind their work.
This is evident as you look around our company – John, Paul, Eric, Kelvin and Pat have more than 150 years of combined expertise! It’s incredible and they are incredibly passionate about their work.
If your political campaigns require a union bug, we are your shop. We provide turnkey advocacy and political direct mail projects for distribution throughout the United States.
Our parent company, RR Donnelley, has a global footprint, which provides us with the resources and depth of services to offer the latest technologies to our clients. We are a G7 Master Printer equipped to handle all types of business communications: printing and direct mail but also IP programmatic marketing and integrated multichannel marketing solutions. We understand that marketing is evolving and have the expertise to help you maximize ROI on your next campaign.
Reach out to us for your next project, be it union or non-union. We’re here to help!